6 Things to Avoid When Photoshopping Pictures

When you first get into Photoshopping you may go a little crazy and start to do just about anything to a picture. You may think that what comes from it is a pure work of art, but more often than not you’ll find that your mashup of new skills makes your picture look cheap and definitely amateur. We all make these types of mistakes, but now it’s time for you to learn from them. When you start to mess around with Photoshopping pictures, you’re going to want to avoid these six mistakes.


A Newbie At Photoshop
A Newbie At Photoshop
When you’re dealing with a picture that doesn’t have the background that you want you might be tempted to take the subject and put it with something that agrees a bit better. Your instincts are right, but the moment that you reach for that lasso or quick select tool you’ve made a mistake. They both technically work, but the problem is that they’re just not precise enough. You end up getting edges that aren’t quite right and obvious outlines that give away your shopping job. Instead use the pen tool. It can take a little while to learn, but once you do you’ll get seamless edges.


It can be a wonderful experience to use gradients and altering techniques to enhance or change a photo, but if you overdo it it points out that you’re new at this. There’s always that one person who thinks that highlighting every red item in a picture and turning everything else black and white is art. Then they take that red and way oversaturate it. It looks odd and amateur. If you choose to add a rainbow gradient and use all of the colors you’re only going to hurt someone’s eyes. Stick to colors that would naturally appear in the picture. You can saturate them, just make sure that it isn’t overdone.

The Problem with Your Black…

Black is obviously going to show up when you’re photo shopping and you may think it an easy fix to simply set it to K=100. This totally works for text, but as soon as you apply it to a larger area you’re going to see that it turns out dark grey. You think that people won’t notice, but they will. The eye can pick up the lack of depth. You want to tweak it to a richer black, something like C= 75 M= 68 Y= 67 K= 90. This will give you a very true, very dark black.


Many people try to use Photoshop to create logos for their company or someone else’s. Eventually you’ll find out on your own that when you’re using this program for that function you’ll lose some clarity and ratios as you mess with it. That’s because logos really should be done in a program like Illustrator. Illustrator is a vector-based program that retains its clarity as you scale them. This makes it much easier to get a professional looking logo by the end of your project.


When you first start it’s totally fine for you to use the mouse and click on whatever tool you’ll be needing. But eventually you should start to notice that these tools have shortcuts attached to them. These shortcuts cut your working time down drastically. You won’t have to move your mouse from the area that you’re working on just to click something else. That interrupts your line of movement as well as takes your eyes away from what you’re working on. The shortcuts aren’t just there for time, though. They also can add some functionality to whatever tool it is that you’re using. Use the ones assigned or create your own under the Edit menu.


Layers are Complicated To Handle
Layers are Complicated To Handle
The granddaddy of all new photoshopper mistakes is not using the layering system. It’s there for a reason, and truthfully is one of the first things you should get comfortable working with. When you avoid using layers you’re just going to create problems for yourself later on. Every time you start to edit a certain aspect you should add a new layer and label it correctly. That way later on if you want to enhance a shadow on someone’s face you simply go to that layer and edit it. If you didn’t do that it would be a giant pain having to erase and then recreate the other changes that you’ve made. Save those layers in appropriately labeled folders and you’ll thank your past self.